When the Cougars arrived at Martin Stadium on Thursday, there was a thin layer of pristine snow covering the field. They made short work of that.
Despite the frozen precipitation, the passing offense had one of it its better Thursday Night Football sessions in awhile. Peyton Bender took the first series at quarterback, as per usual, and the first play was a run off tackle to the left side by James Williams that gained 12 yards. Bender hit Xavius Boone for another 10 or so on the next play, and the walk-on receiver played an integral role on the drive.
His block sprung Williams for a big gainer on a screen pass, and he capped the drive with a nice out route that led to a short touchdown pass from Bender.
Another freshman receiver, Kainoa Wilson took over once Tyler Hilinski came in at quarterback. In fact, Hilinski's drive ended too early after Wilson housed a short pass from 40 yards out. Wilson bounced off one tackler after making a reception about 15 yards down field. He rolled off the next hit and then outraced the defense to the end zone.
The Cougars flipped the field but Hilinski only made it about halfway down with the offense before Calvin Green intercepted his pass, ending his session as quarterback. Green had a good practice and almost intercepted another pass, but it was just out of bounds.
Christian Jorgensen was the third quarterback and he guided the offense through some struggles. On third-and-short Jorgensen was sacked by Ngalu Tapa, who burst through the line and got a hand on the quarterback in just more than one second. But Jorgensen found a receiver on fourth down to the move the sticks.